Now, Sergio's CEO Carlos Gazitua is expanding his fast-casual concept, Sergio's Cuban Cafe & Grill, beyond the counter locations at Florida International University and American Airlines Arena.
Ordering is similar to Chipotle's system, where customization is the cornerstone of the menu. Diners can build their own meal from a medley of items, such as lean turkey picadillo, ropa vieja, organic quinoa, boiled yuca, artisan greens, and cauliflower rice, giving customers the ability to craft a Cuban-inspired dish exactly to their liking. Sandwich and salad options will be available as well (prices are not yet available). Patrons can expect quick, healthful meals using organic and locally sourced ingredients.
Despite the mainstay's reputation for fried bites and rich entrées, Sergio's is one of the only traditional Cuban restaurants to offer health-conscious menu items. Its main locations offer the "La Flaca" menu, comprising healthier choices with less sodium and fewer calories and carbs. In fact, the popularity of La Flaca inspired the new chain. “While the core concept is rooted in Cuban culture and tradition, there is an exciting evolution in the healthier customizable menu and environment that promises a diversity beyond what you will find in the traditional Cuban restaurant,” Gazitua says.
The first of the 25 slated retail locations throughout Miami-Dade and Broward Counties is set to debut Saturday, March 24, in North Miami. Grand-opening specials will include complimentary empanadas, cafecito, and giveaways from noon to 3 p.m. Plus, the first 100 customers will receive a free bowl. Guests can reserve their spot on eventbrite.com.
Sergio's Cuban Café & Grill. 1821 NE 123rd St., North Miami; 305-702-7211; sergioscuban.com. Daily 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.